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Chobani recalls moldy Greek yogurt; CEO apologizes

Chobani, the biggest Greek yogurt maker in the U.S., has recalled some yogurt cups that contained mold after an unspecified number of people reported feeling ill, the company said Thursday.

According to the company, a small batch of yogurt from an Idaho facility -- less than 5% of its production -- was found to contain mold.

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The recall, announced Thursday, began as a "voluntary withdrawal" Saturday after consumers had complained on social media about the unusual consistency and taste of the yogurt.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said this week it was investigating Chobani's handling of the problem and was working with the Greek yogurt maker to facilitate the removal of the affected products.

The recalled yogurt cups are coded "16-012" and have "best-by" dates of between Sept. 11 and Oct. 7, the company said.

"We won’t sugarcoat it," a company statement posted online Thursday said. "This type of mold is not pleasant. While unlikely to have ill health effects upon consumption, nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our consumers, and we are taking all of the necessary steps to uphold our very rigid quality standards."

Chobani's chief executive, Hamdi Ulukaya, posted a statement to the company's website apologizing for the mold problem.

"I'm sorry we let you down," the statement began.

Ulukaya said the type of mold that was found in the yogurt is commonly found in dairy environments.

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com

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